Origins of Massage Therapy
As with anything we’ve become accustomed to in this country and other Western countries, it’s very important that we acknowledge the origins of the thing in question. Here, we’re talking about the clothes that a massage therapist may wear in 2022 in the UK. In the same breath, we should appreciate and be grateful for the origins of massage therapy as a practice, which can be dated back approximately 5000 years in countries including Egypt and China.
The clothes that a massage therapist wore back then, of course, differs from the clothes that may be worn in the UK today. In ancient Egypt, massage therapists, also known as ‘healers,’ would wear colourful jewellery with long draped kilts or robes, embellished with bold decorations and embroidery.
What Type of Clothes do Massage Therapists Wear Today?
If you’re a massage therapist or own a spa or salon and employ massage therapists, it’s important to ensure you get the right type of uniform for the job. One main thing to consider are your clients; you should aim to send a message with your massage therapist uniform, a message that reassures them you are professional, highly skilled, and trained to ease their pains and help them relax with a good quality massage. At the same time, you must think about yourself (or your staff) too, as you’re the one wearing the uniform whilst working, so it should also be comfortable to wear for long periods of time. Comfort and professionalism; that’s the balance you should be aiming to strike.
Tips and Advice to Help Massage Therapists Decide What to Wear
Here is some advice to help you whilst deciding on a uniform or items of clothing to wear whilst giving professional massages.
- Think carefully about colour – White may seem like the logical choice as it looks slick and fresh, but it’s worth considering other colours for your massage therapy uniform. Dirt marks will show up easier and more noticeably on a white uniform, and this is certainly worth thinking about given that you’ll be using lots of spillable products as a professional massage therapist, like oils and lotions. Therefore, darker colours like navy, dark grey, or black may be better options as marks won’t show up as easily on such colours.
- Think about buying medical scrubs – Scrubs uniforms could definitely be the right type of clothing for you, as they are now more comfortable and more stylish than they perhaps once were, and they look professional too. Plus, they’re lightweight which makes them easy to wear, and they’re good when it comes to being washed a lot, which is important in this line of work. If you choose to wear scrubs, it’s advised that they be monochromatic, so they look more professional.
- Think about what your colleagues are wearing – Many beauty businesses, salons, and spas like to have their staff wearing similar clothes, or even a set uniform. So you should talk to the other massage therapists where you work and see if you would all like to get the same type of clothing in terms of colour and/or style. This creates a further sense of professionalism and makes the brand look better, giving clients a better impression of the beauty business you’re working for.
- Not too tight and not too loose – Whatever you decide to wear on the upper half of your body – be it a shirt, salon tunic, or T-shirt, for example – ensure that it is loose-fitting and flexible enough to be comfortable, but not too loose as it may look unprofessional and sloppy. Your massage therapist workwear should still be somewhat fitted, but not too tight as to cling to your figure. If you are a woman, or any gender for that matter, ensure that the top you wear does not expose more than 2 inches below the collarbone, as this may appear too revealing, which could also take away your professional credibility.
- Massage therapists’ trousers – Carrying on from the previous point, it’s important that what you wear on your bottom half is suitably fitted too. Don’t wear anything too short because, again, it may seem unprofessional. If your trousers are slightly loose at the waist, consider wearing a belt. Alternatively, you could find some slacks that have an elasticated waist, as they will never feel uncomfortable, and they won’t fall down when you move in various positions. Alternatively, you may want to wear a salon dress, which also should not be too short and should fit well but not too tight.
- Shoes for Massage Therapists – Once you’ve put all this thought into the rest of your spa uniform for professional massage therapy, don’t neglect the footwear. Shoes need just as much thought and consideration as your spa tunic or trousers, as you’ll definitely notice if your footwear isn’t suitable. It’s no longer common to wear sandals or flip flops. One of the main things to consider when buying shoes as a massage therapist is that they are slip-resistant; shoes with good grip on the bottom will go a long way. You don’t want to be slipping around your client on the massage table, do you? They should also have a comfortable, springy sole, as you’ll be on your feet most of the day, so you don’t want footwear that will be harsh on your feet and cause aching.